£500k Swansea parking system sees over 60,000 incidents in one year‏

New figures have revealed that Swansea parking meters have seen over 60,000 incidents being reported in the past twelve months. Despite Swansea Council’s entire stock of parking meters being replaced within the last two years, 61,118 “alerts” have been registered at their locations since January 2015. What is more, since March 2015 Council staff have been required to attend to parking meter faults on 187 occasions. Figures have come to light following a Freedom of Information Request from Craig Lawton. Mr Lawton, the Welsh Conservatives’ Assembly candidate for Swansea West, said: “The total cost of replacing all the parking meters in Swansea was over half a million pounds. “It is very concerning that their to have been over 60,000 incidents in the last year. This equates to 167 incidents each day on average. “For the amount of money that was shelled out by the Council this is an entirely unacceptable figure.” Swansea Council currently operates 23 city centre car parks with a further 18 providing beach access. There are also, according to their website, 14 suburban car parks currently run by the local authority. Swansea Council also confirmed that between March 2015 and November, when Mr Lawton submitted the request for information, engineers have responded to 187 incidents at their parking meters. Mr Lawton added “Again, this is a very high number considering the Council spent a total of £556,000 to completely replace all parking meters just two years ago. “Since March engineers have had to attend to meters an average of 23 times per month. “If anyone else were to spend such a large amount of money and find this many faults they would be asking for their money back. “I see no reason why Swansea Council should be any different.” Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is a matter of grave concern that having spent such a huge amount of taxpayers' money on these new machines, the Council is still not managing to provide residents with parking metres in perfect working condition.  "Residents will be right to raise questions around the Council's competence which the authorities will need to answer." Mr Lawton, who is currently spearheading the campaign to provide one of free car parking for shoppers in all of Swansea Council’s city centre car parks, added that the new parking meters “do not appear to be fit for purpose.” He added “I would call for Swansea Council to raise this issue with the parking meter suppliers. “Taxpayer’s money has been spent on a system that does not work properly and that is taking up the valuable and costly time of engineers. “It is about time that the Council either got a refund or had them replaced with meters that work as they should.”